How many dogs were among the survivors of the titanic?

Titanic Dogs

Titanic Then and Now

Most of the attention around the sinking of the Titanic goes to the people who died and the engineering flaws that doomed the ship. But there were also dogs along board, whose last moments are surprisingly storied. There’s even a completely false myth about one heroic dog and his derring-do. Here’s everything you need to know about the Titanic’s canine victims.

How many dogs were there? according to j. joseph edgette of widener university, there were twelve confirmed canines on the ship. only three of them survived.

Reading: How many dogs were among the survivors of the titanic?

which dogs survived? The three dogs that lived had one thing in common: they were small. so small that the people being left behind by the lifeboats probably didn’t even notice they were being carried. (can you imagine being ready to die so someone’s dog can live?) two were Pomeranians and one was a Pekingese. edgette explains exactly who owned these three lucky dogs:

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a pomeranian named lady, purchased by miss margaret hays while she was in paris, shared the cabin and was wrapped in a blanket by miss hays when the order to evacuate was given.

the Pekingese was called “sun yat-sen” and was a companion of myna harper and her husband henry s. harper, heir to harper & row, a new york-based publishing house. Later, Henry Harper was asked about saving her dog instead of other people. “There seemed to be plenty of room and no one objected,” she said.

The dogs that didn’t survive were all bigger. there was a king charles spaniel, some ariedales, a fox terrier, a french bulldog and a great dane. a family won an insurance settlement for the loss of their two dogs. another woman, who owned the Great Dane, refused to leave him behind and died with him.

what happened to the dogs when the ship was sinking? Most of the dogs were kept in kennels on the deck of the ship, and the ship’s carpenter took care of them on a day-to-day basis. they got exercise and a bathroom break once a day. the plan was to have a small dog show later in the trip, but the ship sank before that could happen.

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However, there was a bit of a dog show as the ship sank. apparently, at some point, someone decided to release the dogs from their kennels. then the dogs ran up and down the sloping, sunken deck.

Did any of the dogs help save the passengers? short answer: no. There is a relatively well-known story of a Newfoundland named Rigel, who belonged to First Officer William Murdoch. The story goes that, being a large, well-insulated dog, Rigel was able to withstand the icy waters. As the Carpathia rescue boat approached, Rigel was able to bark loud enough for the rescue ship’s captain to locate the lifeboats.

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This story is completely false. There is no record of William Murdoch ever having a black Newfoundland on board. No account of any of the survivors of the Titanic mentions Rigel. And some key details of the story (such as Captain Carpathia’s name and Rigel’s fate) don’t stand up to fact-checking. The story apparently first appeared in 1912, in the New York Herald.

what about cats? there were probably cats on the titanic. many boats had jacks to keep mice and rats out. apparently the ship even had an officer cat, named jenny. Neither Jenny nor any of his feline friends survived.

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